Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Look on the Bright Side at Hotel Hope

One of the most frequent pieces of advice I receive is, "Stay positive." That was easy in the days when I had a full head of hair and eyebrows, a full stomach of food that stayed down, and enough energy to double- and triple task my way through an endless to-do list.

But the first test to my ability to "stay positive" came when I checked in to Hotel Hope on Tuesday night. No, it's not the Ritz Carlton. Hey it's not even the Best Western, but it does have a few amenities and services that we're missing at home.

What I have at CoH / What We Have at Home

A firm, twin-sized adjustable bed / A sagging California King-Size bed

Sheets changed daily / Sheets changed weekly.

Daily breakfast in bed / Breakfast in bed on Mother's day, followed by a messy kitchen

Daily lunch in bed / Lunch at the kitchen table or office desk

Daily dinner in bed / Dinner in the dining room or out

No food shopping, preparation or cleanup / Weekly shopping and daily preparation and cleanup

A selection of 40 breakfast items / Three cereal types, bagels, fruit, yogurt

An extensive lunch/dinner menu with 76 selections / Three cans of soup, a jar of peanut butter, jelly, sliced turkey, canned tuna, wheat bread, pickles with a possible expiration date

Choice of 15 main courses with daily specials / Choices??

A flat-screen TV with VCR and DVD players, Cable and remote control / Bedroom TV with NO VCR and DVD, NO cable and remote control

The ability to sleep whenever I want for as long as I want. (After yesternday's record 14-hour snooze, I felt like conquering the world, or at the very least kicking some MCL. backside) / The ability to sleep in until 7:30 am on days that I'm not taking Cindy to school.

And it's especially easy to stay positive when, as Paula reported, I have high energy, good appetite and no harmful side effects after two days of intensive chemo. Those anti-nausea, anti-anxiety drugs are miraculous! When my white blood cell counts begin to drop, it may be a very different story, but I'm enjoying the bright moments while they last.


Paula Johnson said...

As Karen Klein mentioned in a comment, you need to de-germ before you go into Susan's room. If you have an lingering symptoms of a cold, flu, or any type of cooties, it might be better to wait to visit when you're healthy.

Susan will be doing this routine until the fall, so we'll all have plenty of time to make the trek!

Karen said...

It's amazing enought that you're so witty when you're feeling fine and dandy. How do you manage to keep it up when you're being blasted with chemo? Once again, you amaze me!!!

(Mrs. Duck)

Lilli said...

I love this entry. Talk about looking on the bright side!

My brother got so used to room service and all the nurses bringing him ice cream whenever he wanted that he wasn't the least bit worried that he'd had a cardiac event. However, I guarantee you that even in your Benadryl brain, you are more lucid than my brother!

I'm glad you have a nice place to stay when you can't be at home in your own saggy bed. I look forward to seeing you in a week or so when I am germ free.

-- Lilli